Honor Adonai with your wealth
and with the firstfruits of all your income.
10 Then your granaries will be filled
and your vats overflow with new wine.
Firstfruits... This is discussed a lot in Jewish circles. For many of their festivals they are required to bring the first fruits from their harvest. In this verse it was first fruits of ALL your income.
First fruits were often waved before the Lord as a praise offering. Sometimes they were burned as a sacrifice. These first fruits were not used to raise money for building a bigger temple. Solomon's Temple was built with gold inherited from David. The Second Temple was built using gold and silver that was recovered from the Babylonian Temple.
There is a concept in the Word of God that we are to use a tithe from what we earn to assist in the work of Adonai throughout the world. However, I sometimes think that we miss the mark with only giving 10% of our income and saying, "That is enough."
I admit that I struggle with the idea of tithing in order to build buildings. Buildings that are often used twice a week for events that are 'church related." I think there is something that is missing in the concept of having bigger buildings and places of worship. I often see them sitting empty.
Yes, there is the argument that people are taken care of on a Sunday morning as they sit in church and worship. Sometimes that happens. Just being blunt and honest. I would love to see "first fruits" used more for taking care of people. Maybe a food bank, or a soup kitchen, or a fellowship hall with beds for the homeless. Maybe a daycare for single moms who can place their children in a safe place while they work.
There also needs to be the idea that first fruits should include ALL of the person. If we think we can just give money, we are missing the mark again. Yes, we worked to earn the money, but if we don't give physical support to back up the money, we are essentially doing nothing. Workers are needed too.
And when we give we need to think about how the money is spent. So many get worked up about organizations opening too much on administrative fees (I remember hearing about Goodwill, Salvation Army and other non profits), but don't stop to look at church budgets and how that money is being spent.
These are all ideas and concepts that are missing today. I am talking to myself as well... What do I need to do to make a difference? How can I bless those around me? How can I get to know my neighbors so I can assist them as necessary? Where is my money best used to promote His Kingdom?
The Words above make it clear that when we give our first fruits than we will be blessed. When we Give to HIM, He blesses us.
Stop and think about how you contribute to Kingdom work. Are you just giving money? Or do you give of yourself? Is the money being spent in a way that is useful for Kingdom work? Or is it being spent on salaries and electric bills for buildings?
Love and blessings,
Women Empowerment based on Torah and the Bible